Texas' 10-day rule allows a hospital ethics committee to notify a family that they have 10 days to move a seriously ill patient to another hospital before they stop providing life-sustaining care. Attorney Emily Cook of Texas Right to Life tells AFN the family of a patient named Jesus S. recently faced that quandary.
"He had to be placed on a ventilator and then later a trach and blood pressure medicine," Cook relays. "They had enabled him to become more alert and conscious and improving. He's awake and conscious and able to communicate, but he still needed those life-sustaining therapies to continue living."
But at the beginning of November, Jesus was given less than 48 hours to live, and the hospital planned to take away his care against his will. Just minutes before a final meeting with the unnamed hospital was to begin, Cook got a call.
"Thankfully, the hospital, after we talked about [and] pointed out how crazy it was to be doing this on a conscious patient, they decided to continue treating Jesus until we can get him moved to another facility," the attorney reports.
She is glad for the outcome in Jesus' case but says the law needs to be changed. However, the two legislative attempts to accomplish that in the last four years have been unsuccessful.